Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a steel frame bike to build or buy. I currently ride an aluminum frame LeMond. My LBS turned me on to some Names to look for. I've been reading your blogs they are very helpful. I don't mind the geometry of the LeMond Tourmalet. I do ride on some pretty rough roads on occasion, and I do like to climb when I have the time. Any suggestions?
 

·
Doesn't like subtitles
Joined
·
3,808 Posts
Do some searches on the different grades of Columbus and Reynolds steel. If you stay away from the high end marques like Colnago, Merckx, etc, you'll find some good deals on frames in Columbus SL and Reynolds 531. Columbus SLX is a little heavier, a little stiffer but still comfortable for distance riding. I think it makes for a good climbing bike too.

Other quality tube sets in Columbus are TSX, Genius. Thron, Aelle, TreTubi, Brain are a step down. Reynolds 653,753 are high end in lugged bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your response! Let's just say I was a weight weenie. Is SL still the benchmark in great riding. Would a thinner steel EL or TSX be less of a pleasurable riding experience. I do like climbing but not if sacrificing some ounces gives me a chattery ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm looking for a 56-57cm frame or bike to upgrade. Not specific to SLX just trying get some feedback on best ride of a steel frame. Since I'm only really experience with diff. Aluminum frames. Also looking for something that's not a boat anchor. I picked up a Bianchi CroMo frame other day it felt a bit heavy for my liking. Thanks for feedback Peter P.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks hfc, I will keep my eyes peeled. I just spoke to a guy on eBay about a cheap Schwinn Paramount (Tange prestige) where does that fit in the SL/ TSX regime.
Thanks again👍🏼
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,493 Posts
ALL the seamless double butted steels are of sufficient quality to build a great riding steel bike. I doubt any rider could tell the difference between TSX, SLX, SL, 531, etc. .

Builders will "tune" the frame buy using different diameters of tubes and in some cases, shaping the tubes such as ovalized.

Small changes in tube diameter greatly affect stiffness. Similar changes in wall thickness, not really as much.

Ignore the weight as any of the quality steels will be so close in weight as to be indistinguishable.

For instance, my Soulcraft Royale is made with steel of whose origin I haven't a clue. But it's light enough and rides just fine. Sean Walling's contention was, you don't ask the chef what to cook with, so leave the builder alone and trust them!

Now you don't say whether you're looking for a USED steel frame, VINTAGE steel frame, or something else. Give us more details.
 

·
a real member's member
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
I'm looking for a 56-57cm frame or bike to upgrade. Not specific to SLX just trying get some feedback on best ride of a steel frame.
a great value you might want to look for is a mondia 'super' with 531sl.

531sl is super light, similar to 531c. and mondias don't demand the high prices like the italians.

another good value is the trek 930 from the early days ('79-'80) with columbus sl.

or look for a full 531 bike with 531 stays and fork. the mid-70s high end motobecanes are ideal (le champion and team champion).

search all craigs listings across the country and try to find a facilitator to help if you find something promising.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
a great value you might want to look for is a mondia 'super' with 531sl.

531sl is super light, similar to 531c. and mondias don't demand the high prices like the italians.

another good value is the trek 930 from the early days ('79-'80) with columbus sl.

or look for a full 531 bike with 531 stays and fork. the mid-70s high end motobecanes are ideal (le champion and team champion).

search all craigs listings across the country and try to find a facilitator to help if you find something promising.
Thanks Blackfrancois! Pixies fan? I haven't heard of that frame I will add it into the search. I did come across a couple Raleigh 531 frame sets one pretty reasonable in Germany. Is the 531c fairly light weight. Thanks for the tip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ALL the seamless double butted steels are of sufficient quality to build a great riding steel bike. I doubt any rider could tell the difference between TSX, SLX, SL, 531, etc. .

Builders will "tune" the frame buy using different diameters of tubes and in some cases, shaping the tubes such as ovalized.

Small changes in tube diameter greatly affect stiffness. Similar changes in wall thickness, not really as much.

Ignore the weight as any of the quality steels will be so close in weight as to be indistinguishable.

For instance, my Soulcraft Royale is made with steel of whose origin I haven't a clue. But it's light enough and rides just fine. Sean Walling's contention was, you don't ask the chef what to cook with, so leave the builder alone and trust them!

Now you don't say whether you're looking for a USED steel frame, VINTAGE steel frame, or something else. Give us more details.
Yeah, I've researching mostly older used bikes on eBay and local Craigs list. Learning more from this site about different frames.
 

·
a real member's member
Joined
·
3,880 Posts
Pixies fan?
oh yeah.

Is the 531c fairly light weight?
i think 531c (competition) is very similar to the 531sl used in the mondia super. the 531pro tubing is even more thin. here's a tubing chart that may help:



i looked for a reynolds chart i remember that's easier to read, but couldn't quickly find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oh yeah
i think 531c (competition) is very similar to the 531sl used in the mondia super. the 531pro tubing is even more thin. here's a tubing chart that may help:



i looked for a reynolds chart i remember that's easier to read, but couldn't quickly find it.

Thanks for chart!
Some folks don't mention weight. I'm always interested in all specs. I saw a Peugeot 531sl a little spendy for just a frame and fork. The cheapest I've seen was s Raleigh 531c. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,493 Posts
This Serotta Colorado is definitely worth the money. Don't forget to snag the fork, too. Unless the frame was custom, I think the top tube length specified is wrong, and likely longer.

Out of all the eBay listings for 56 and 57cm frames, this is the most attractive to me. I always found American frame construction and finish to be heads above european frames.

Even if you bought the Serotta and paid for a full paint restoration, you'd have a fantastic bike at much less than new lugged frame pricing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I ride a Peugeot CFX-10 which I bought new in 1983 to replace a Motobecane that I pretzeled. It is still a great ride 33 years later. Just be aware that some of the vintage Peugeots need French threaded parts. Velo Orange sells a bottom bracket and a headset which are OK. ISO or English parts will not work, so beware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh yeah.



i think 531c (competition) is very similar to the 531sl used in the mondia super. the 531pro tubing is even more thin. here's a tubing chart that may help:



i looked for a reynolds chart i remember that's easier to read, but couldn't quickly find it.
This Serotta Colorado is definitely worth the money. Don't forget to snag the fork, too. Unless the frame was custom, I think the top tube length specified is wrong, and likely longer.

Out of all the eBay listings for 56 and 57cm frames, this is the most attractive to me. I always found American frame construction and finish to be heads above european frames.

Even if you bought the Serotta and paid for a full paint restoration, you'd have a fantastic bike at much less than new lugged frame pricing.
Thanks Peter P. ,
I'm following this now. I had been looking at a few Serotta frames. They do seem to be popular. Do you think this would be similar in weight to an SL or 531. Also I'm currently riding an older Shimano 105 10speed group set. I'm pretty content with the function of this. Is this something you'd consider installing on this frame or is that too current. My 105 set is probably 2006. Thanks for the heads up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ride a Peugeot CFX-10 which I bought new in 1983 to replace a Motobecane that I pretzeled. It is still a great ride 33 years later. Just be aware that some of the vintage Peugeots need French threaded parts. Velo Orange sells a bottom bracket and a headset which are OK. ISO or English parts will not work, so beware.
Thanks for tip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,493 Posts
Thanks Peter P. ,
Do you think this would be similar in weight to an SL or 531.
Absolutely. I'm surprised the frame doesn't have a tubing decal as Serotta's surely did, but they used nothing but brand name tubing. As Serotta deployed their proprietary Colorado Concept tubing, they no longer used off the shelf Reynolds or Columbus stuff but their in-house tubing was every bit the same quality and comparable weight as Reynolds 531C or Columbus SL.
 

·
Doesn't like subtitles
Joined
·
3,808 Posts
Thanks for your response! Let's just say I was a weight weenie. Is SL still the benchmark in great riding. Would a thinner steel EL or TSX be less of a pleasurable riding experience. I do like climbing but not if sacrificing some ounces gives me a chattery ride.
In my mind Columbus SL and Reynolds 531 are the baseline for a quality ride in a vintage frame and it seems that these might be used by people as a benchmark for comparison. I don't have any experience or much knowledgein the Japanese tube sets but I've read wonderful reviews of some Tange constructed bikes.

I have a Ciocc in Columbus EL that I just built up and the fork is flexy (chatters with braking - haven't experienced that on other steel forks) and although I'm not a good judge, seems a little flexier in the frame, doesn't handle as crisply on fast descents. Very nice ride otherwise. EL OS was produced I believe to stiffen up the ride and is highly respected. I have bikes in SL, SLX, Reynolds 653, 753 and love them all. The bikes range in weight from about 21 lbs to 24 but they all have vintage wheels and group sets.

I don't think it's worth it to put a super effort into shaving weight on the high end vintage steel. You might be able to shave half a pound on frame and fork and you'll have an easier time dropping weight by using modern components. You should be able to build a 20# steel bike without too much effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
In my mind Columbus SL and Reynolds 531 are the baseline for a quality ride in a vintage frame and it seems that these might be used by people as a benchmark for comparison. I don't have any experience or much knowledgein the Japanese tube sets but I've read wonderful reviews of some Tange constructed bikes.

I have a Ciocc in Columbus EL that I just built up and the fork is flexy (chatters with braking - haven't experienced that on other steel forks) and although I'm not a good judge, seems a little flexier in the frame, doesn't handle as crisply on fast descents. Very nice ride otherwise. EL OS was produced I believe to stiffen up the ride and is highly respected. I have bikes in SL, SLX, Reynolds 653, 753 and love them all. The bikes range in weight from about 21 lbs to 24 but they all have vintage wheels and group sets.

I don't think it's worth it to put a super effort into shaving weight on the high end vintage steel. You might be able to shave half a pound on frame and fork and you'll have an easier time dropping weight by using modern components. You should be able to build a 20# steel bike without too much effort.
Thanks hfc!
That's a fair bit of info. I'm ok with 20. That's what my aluminum bike weights and I enjoy climbing on it. It does beat me up on long rides though. Thanks for critique of the EL. I haven't spoken to anyone who has one. I am inspired to build more than one. That sounds like the best of both worlds. Thanks again!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top